Living Life With Open Hands

I’ve been thinking a lot about anointing lately.

I remember when I was very small, probably around 4 or 5 years old, something happened that has stuck with me all my life.  My parents were teaching a Sunday School lesson about David and how he was anointed with oil.  They had somehow got one of the girls to play David and they literally dumped a bottle of olive oil over her head.  I remember hearing later about how it took her weeks to wash all the oil out of her hair.

I don’t know why I remember that – probably because people don’t get a whole bottle of oil dumped over them in church all that often (thanks Mom and Dad for making Sunday School so visual 🙂 but it has always stuck with me.  So anyways, I’ve been thinking a lot about anointing, particularly this one verse:

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

I have felt for the last little while that this is a big part of the calling on my life, but I keep coming back to this one question – what does it mean to be “anointed”?

I don’t have the theological background to really pull this apart, but I think that maybe it’s somewhat simple, like that girl in my parents’ Sunday School lesson – being willing to stand under an entire bottle of oil, for the benefit of others, even though it means you getting greasy and dirty, knowing that it is going to mark you and change you and that you will never really wash away that memory again.  The anointing leaves a tangible residue that others will see and remember for years to come.

I had such a beautiful weekend hanging out with a very old friend and some very new ones – as I was sharing some things I realized that my number one aim in life is to hold everything with open hands – my dreams, expectations, finances, goals, education, job, relationships – none of it matters.  My life is the Lord’s and I merely want to live a great adventure doing whatever and going wherever He asks.  How can there be joy any other way?  People ask me what happens after this next year.  Truth be told, I have no idea.  I do not know where I will be, where I will live, what job I will have.  But I do know that it will be wonderful.  I will be obedient to where He calls me.  I will stand for justice and speak on behalf of the voiceless, no matter where I go.  My life is not my own.  But oh, what a beautiful place to be!

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  • Funny how kids remember things a little differently than they were, but fortunately you got the point. Pastor Ken Russell taught this class at Valley Community Church, he did the oil annointing. Your mom would have known that oil is hard to wash out. Mom